Molecular tracking of multiple disease resistance in a winter wheat diversity panel

  • Thomas MiedanerEmail author
  • Wessam Akel
  • Kerstin Flath
  • Andreas Jacobi
  • Mike Taylor
  • Friedrich Longin
  • Tobias Würschum
Original Article


Key message

About 10% of cultivars possessed superior resistance to four fungal diseases and association mapping for multiple disease resistance identified loci which are not detected by analyzing individual disease resistances.


Multiple disease resistance (MDR) aims for cultivars that are resistant to more than one disease which is an important prerequisite for the registration of commercial cultivars. We analyzed a European winter wheat diversity panel of 158 old and new cultivars for four diseases by natural (powdery mildew) and artificial inoculation (yellow rust, stem rust, Fusarium head blight) observed on the same plot in a multilocation trial. Genotypic analyses were based on 21,543 genotype-by-sequencing markers. By association mapping, eight to 18 quantitative-trait loci (QTL) were detected for individual disease resistances, explaining in total 67–90% of the total genotypic variation. For MDR, nine QTL could be found explaining 62% of the total genotypic variation. Only three of them were also found as QTL for a single disease resistance illustrating that mapping of MDR-associated QTL can be regarded as a complementary approach. The high prediction ability obtained for MDR (> 0.9) implies that genomic prediction could be used in future, thereby eliminating the necessity to separately screen large numbers of lines in breeding programs for several diseases.



This research was financially supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Bonn, Germany, by financing a Grant to FL (DFG LO 1816/4-1). Excellent technical support from all stations is highly acknowledged.

Author contribution statement

TM wrote the manuscript; WA conducted phenotyping at one location, analyzed the data, validated markers, and drafted parts of the manuscript. KF conducted the experiments at Berlin-Dahlem, provided yellow and stem rust spores for all locations and scientific advice. AJ and MT contributed field space, supervised the inoculations and data recording. FL and TM developed the project and designed experiments; FL directed the study. TW supported with statistical advice and edited the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The authors declare that the experiments comply with the current laws of Germany.

Supplementary material

122_2019_3472_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (457 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 458 kb)
122_2019_3472_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (35 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 35 kb)
122_2019_3472_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (XLSX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Plant Breeding InstituteUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Strube Research GmbH & Co. KGSöllingenGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Plant Protection in Field Crops and GrasslandJulius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated PlantsKleinmachnowGermany
  4. 4.LIMAGRAIN GMBH – Zuchtstation RosenthalPeineGermany

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